Contrary to its title, the second major label release from YouTube star and singer-songwriter Troye Sivan is far from WILD. Musically, it is the exact opposite. Rather than a gritty, cutthroat wilderness, this work is a short collection of masterfully crafted and carefully produced songs that resembles a sonic utopia.
Instead, WILD derives its name from the raw, forbidden emotions that Sivan sings about on the record, which is paired perfectly with a clean-cut pop backdrop.
The EP opens to its title track, with a chorus of children singing, “wild, wild,” in a playful, singsong manner. Sivan then croons — over the innocent, childlike reverie — lyrics that describe a dangerous, fatal attraction: “When you look like that / I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad, oh / And it drives me wild.”
Sensuality is an ongoing theme on WILD, as Sivan maneuvers the taboo motions of a growing visceral love affair. “BITE” is like a religious reprieve, with one mundane melody repeating throughout the entire song. It builds up to a dark, brooding ritual chant that is begging for human touch: “Kiss me on the mouth and set me free… / Don’t you wanna see a man up close?”
The EP’s standout track, “FOOLS,” best embodies Sivan’s signature style. In fact, the song itself models his career trajectory. It opens with Sivan’s buttery, soothing voice, accompanied by a lone piano — similar in style to the YouTube covers that put him on the map. It then sinks into a laid-back, slowed down, trap-like beat, much like the songs in his last EP, TRXYE. Then, the chorus settles into a series of perfectly timed Flume-esque dips and drops, finally speeding up ever so slightly to find Sivan’s familiar, hypnotic sound.
As a whole, WILD is more than just a look into Sivan’s thoughts and dreams. It is a snapshot of his urgent desires and deepest fears. Throughout the EP, he repeats his most powerful and revealing lines over and over again. This makes the words lose their meaning, causing the listener to enter a trance-like state of emotional arrest.
“So what do I do now? / I don’t keep love around,” Sivan yearns on the final track, “DKLA,” featuring rapper Tkay Maidza.
But honestly, there’s no question of what Sivan should do now. He should get back in the studio and record that full-length album, because everyone — from his dedicated YouTube subscribers to his newfound fans from indie success — is waiting for what’s next.
Rosemarie Alejandrino is the assistant arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].